Highlights 20/21

So proud of all the pupils, at both Finzean School and Ballogie Nursery, when they came back in August 2020 after having been away from the buildings since 20th March 2020. They had to face a new regime, for example: masks, sanitizing and one way systems, but they coped really well. Very proud of my staff too.

11th November – we held a Remembrance Service outside, visiting “stations” around the playground. The stations helped pupils to understand “What is Remembrance?”, and learn about, for example, “The Last Post”, “A Poppy Prayer” and held a 2 Minute Silence. Lest We Forget.

December Activities:

1st – BCT and Finzean School held a joint Tile Unveiling for the tiles created during our creation of the Book “Aye it wis A’abody”. The unveiling was opened and closed by Mrs Alison Bell, BCT Trustee and we were delighted to be joined online by Ms Jackie Kay, Scots Makar, who spoke before unveiling the plaque. Two pupils were present, one read a poem specially created for the event and both helped with the unveiling of the plaque.

The Tiling Plaque

To enjoy the whole Plaque, please go up to the school (socially distanced) and have a look for yourself.

1st – For the first time, we held a virtual parents evening for all school pupils. This was well received and had an excellent take up.

10th – The Parent Council held their AGM and their Termly Meeting virtually. This was extremely well attended and may be the way forward for the future, to ensure maximum numbers of parents can attend. Thank you to Mr Douglas, Chair, for organizing this.

11th – By ensuring strict hygiene rules, we were able to have a Christmas lunch for the pupils. They were delighted.

14th – For the first time, we held a virtual parents morning for all nursery pupils. This was also well received and had an excellent take up.

15th – P1/2/3/4 virtually attended a Pantomime – Aladdin. They were so excited – oh no they weren’t – oh yes they were 🙂 The Parent Council very kindly supplied juice and popcorn for the event. The pupils were so happy.

17th – Again, by ensuring strict hygiene rules and not mixing the classes, we were able to have Christmas Parties this year. The Parent Council very kindly provided the food for the classes. Thank you for doing this and for your continued support.

18th – We held a short Christmas Service which incorporated a Virtual Visit from Rev Amy and a viewing of the video taken of “The Nativity”. P1/2/3/4 had acted out the parts, with some members of P5/6/7 narrating. The Nativity has been uploaded onto Google Classroom.

Considering the difficult times we are all in just now and facing, I am so proud of the pupils, parents and staff for continuing to be safe, happy and engaged in learning.

Each pupil in the school made a wish and we put it on the tree.

January and February 2021

Finzean School and Ballogie Nursery are currently temporarily closed as we do not have any key worker children requiring access to the School or Nursery.

However, we have been busy undertaking Online Learning via Google Classroom for the School and our Learning Journals for the Nursery. So proud of the pupils, the parents and the staff.

It has been snowing quite heavily in the area. Since I took this photo on Monday, 1st February, there has been further snow fall – I still love this view from the school.

I believe some of the pupils have been enjoying sledging 🙂

Term 4:

This Term, Finzean School and Birse Community Trust (BCT) have been undertaking an exciting joint project.  

Toni Watt, BCT Manager has been running sessions at the School Woods and the pupils have been looking at the Trees and collecting biological records.   The information gathered is to be forwarded to the North East Scotland Biological Records Centre (NESBReC), Aberdeen. This creates a meaningful and worthwhile project, not only for the pupils but for the collection of data.

Exciting news from the project

The P5-7 pupils got their first biological record recently.  A very well camouflaged moth was found by one of the girls on a tree trunk. The photos were sent to an expert to check.  The moth was a Yellow-barred Brindle -well-spotted and a good record as not that many from NE Scotland. 

The moth is thought to have been a relatively recent arrival (1st Vice County 91 record in 2003 and then from 2004 in Vice County 92).  However, it is not the first time it has been spotted in the Finzean area. One was found in the woods North of the Forest of Birse road opposite the Bucket Mill in 2013. 

(Vice Counties are a division of counties used by botanists and other biological recorders to break large regions down into smaller areas to make it more manageable so VC 91 is Kincardineshire and VC 92 is South Aberdeenshire).

So, a very good find and a very good start to our biological records.


To recap regarding the “Aye it wis A’abody” project – Finzean School’s association with the Jamaican Slave Trade – Prof Sir Geoff Palmer came to Finzean School and talked to all the pupils. Staff and pupils really enjoyed his visit.

Then in October 2019 we launched the Book “Aye it wis A’abody” – with Prof Sir Geoff Palmer being the Keynote Speaker.  Every school in the Council was given a copy. 

We entered the Project for the Anne Frank Award “For Active participation and extraordinary involvement in the promotion of Equality, Diversity and Human Rights” and received an Award.

Each pupil in the school made a tile associated to the project. The tiles were made into a plaque and it was installed at the back of the school.  The school then had an official Tile Unveiling on the 1st December 2020, with the tile being unveiled during a ceremony via Teams with Jackie Kay, the Scots Makar saying a few words.

Exciting News

Since then, some further news about the Aye it wis A’abody project :The school has just received a Pearson National Teachers Award – Highly Commended – The 2021 Award for Impact Through Partnership, for the “Aye it wis A’abody” project between Finzean School and Birse Community Trust. 

We also received a letter from Michael Morpurgo, President of the Pearson National Teachers Award, to thank the school for all the work we do.

Some good news during this very challenging time.  As a school, we are delighted.

Dyslexia Scotland Tutor Pilot Project at Finzean School

The Scottish Government set aside monies for Dyslexia Scotland to offer Specialist Dyslexic Tutors to support Dyslexic learners. Their Tutors would provide online support to dyslexic children and young people in one-to-one sessions or in small groups.

Due to the Head Teacher’s connection with Dyslexia Scotland, Finzean School was approached to enquire whether pupils would like to have access to these Tutors.  As this was an excellent opportunity to give extra support to pupils, the offer was accepted.

During Term 4, the 2 Tutors have been working hard with pupils – They have focused on Phonemes, Reading and Numeracy tasks.  All pupils have really benefited from this extra support and we can see an impact on their learning.

We have been grateful for the opportunity to be involved in the Pilot Project and hope to work with Dyslexia Scotland again soon.

Vivien Moorhouse

8 June 2021